Researchers are looking into how brain chemicals and metabolism (the way the body uses calories) affect binge eating disorder. Research also suggests that genes may be involved, since the disorder often occurs in several members of the same family. Certain behaviors and emotional problems are more common in people with binge eating disorder. These include:
- Abusing alcohol
- Acting quickly without thinking (impulsive behavior)
- Not feeling in charge of themselves.
People with binge eating disorder are usually very upset by their binge eating and may become depressed. Research has shown that people who engage in this behavior report more health problems, stress, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts than people without an eating disorder. People with binge eating disorder often feel badly about themselves and may miss work, school, or social activities as a result.
People with this disorder may gain weight, which can lead to obesity, and obesity raises the risk for these health problems:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gallbladder disease
- Heart disease
- Certain types of cancer.
People with binge eating disorder should get help from a healthcare provider, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. There are several different ways to treat binge eating disorder, including cognitive behavioral therapy and drug therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This type of therapy teaches people how to keep track of their eating and change their unhealthy eating habits. It teaches them how to cope with stressful situations. It also helps them feel better about their body shape and weight.